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Las Vegas Gains Bailout


“The cruel superficiality against the backdrop of roulette wheels and shuffled card decks is a tribute to Wall Street, a place so superficial as to be populated by those who attended education for years to learn merely how to gamble.”

by Peter Demain
Arbitrage Partner Blog
Dirty Garnet

Las Vegas Strip

It is a sign of the ruthless, capitalistic excesses of the Anglospheric nations and their associated tax havens that Las Vegas – home of ruthless excess – was not assisted during the 2008 ultra-meltdown. Whilst this meltdown was built on figures within vast computer databases rather than radioactive material, it nevertheless proved the maladjustment of upper-humankind. The stinking effervescence of the entire matter caused a frank neglect of the greatest gambling centre in all the English-speaking nations.

However as is hitting the headlines this week, the wait is very nearly over for the city which is like Disneyland, only less copyright-dependent. For what Vegas has accomplished in terms of grotesque debasement of humanity is only a passive reflection of what every conniving banker and Leyman involved in 2008′s shebang was gunning for.

After decades of gangster rule punctuated by many desert burials and corruptions, Vegas settled into a more corporate existence. The cruel superficiality against the backdrop of roulette wheels and shuffled card decks is a tribute to Wall Street, a place so superficial as to be populated by those who attended education for years to learn merely how to gamble – we can credit Vegas, Macau, Monaco and others with removing this pretence.

Fortunately, some sanity exists within Washington. A long-term contingency plan, albeit with Las Vegas on the back-burner. At last, over three years after the misery blossomed upon this globe, the United States Senate has commissioned a bailout for the fabulous desert city.


The fiasco was constructed by a shadowy committee of deficit fanatics. An outgoing politician was required to soften any personal damage, once the truth came to light. Or as Tony Blair of Britain once put it: “(They’ll) be well on their way to making great sums from speaking circuits.”

This person would likewise have to be of sufficient good heart and experience: the temptation of Las Vegas can allow much to go awry. One moment, a man can be joyfully sipping margaritas at the craps table having been given a complimentary hat – the next he can find himself chained up and given over to a group of amorous dwarfs, who all the while are charging his credit card for the room, the room service, and any attendant wild animals.

Senator John Ensign Nevada

Private debate concluded, the man revealed to personally present the money was John Ensign, adulterer and Senator for Nevada. A former veterinarian, it was hoped Ensign’s virtues would on this occasion outshine all the gaudy lights of Vegas, or as Barbara Boxer put it:

“I mean how could you not trust a guy who has helped puppies, kittens and so many other cute animals?”

It was eventually agreed that the bailout cash which numbers undisclosed billions would be handed over to a hastily set-up corporate body representing the five largest casinos. Not one to leave avenues for criticism, the governmental committee in charge also allocated a portion for the smaller, off-Strip outlets in the form of a trust fund entitled ‘Pisaway’. Pisaway is the local Native American term for ‘modest joy-giving.’

This wasn’t before an unnamed informant was paid another undisclosed sum to report what he saw in the meeting, which took place in the recently hollowed out Sphinx’s head on the Strip. In it, the Senator and several high profile directors commenced discussing what would be done with the money. Favourite amongst these embryonic plans was Neo-Vegas, in which a second strip would be built atop the first, with the first strip treated to a computer animated sky.

Casino chipsA set of inferior, non-sparkly chips.

“I saw myself as some Jeff Bridges type guy…like in that special effects bike movie.”Confessed Senator Ensign at this morning’s press conference. “That’s how I became so…so enticed by giving the whole pot of cash over to these keen, smiling execs – I mean how better to improve the economy than with more casinos?”

The ceremony of the occasion was kicked off with a few binding signatures and some lawyer speak, wherein the Senator was granted a single chip, emblazoned with gemstones in a body of solid platinum. The valuable token was kept cushioned by silk in a presentation case – a perfect photo-op accessory.

Yet seconds after said photo was taken, a cry erupted from the depths of the Sphinx – it was not the usual big win sort of shout. Indeed the calls were tinged with terror. Moments after the wails softened into pleas a security guard entered the Sphinx’s head, wherein a high security alert had taken hold.

Panting, the guard spoke: “Lemmings sir…the lemmings are…”

Lemming“Lemmings! Some sort of South American ultra-left separatist group? Thought they’d bomb an innocent Egyptian-themed gambling house?!” One panicked executive cried.

John Ensign spoke calmly:“No! A lemming is a rodent – I learned about them, long ago…in a past life. A past, non-adulterous life.”

At last the security guard was able to explain: a group of performing artists from the Czech Republic had brought their chunky, genetically modified lemmings in for a show that evening. However two of the lemmings had become excited by the sight of spinning slots – they’d bounded off their leashes and lodged themselves in the payout crevice of a slot machine. The Czech acrobats were horrified.

The Senator quickly formed a vanguard of perfectly poised suits, who dashed down the convenient spiral stairs towards the casino floor. On reaching the scene a group of security guards parted the crowd, allowing the veterinarian-politician to do his job. Quick, MacGyver-like thinking was required: one executive advised him that the gemstone-encrusted chip could not only mimic a coin, but fool any slot machine into a top payout.

Placing the chip in the machine, the crowd lapsed to silence as the Senator took a deep breath and pulled the lever. Sure enough three 7s appeared in slow succession. The flood of chips that followed dislodged the pair of lemmings, making clear that no injuries save a mild state of catatonia had affected the rodents.

Yet even as the Czech performers in their expressive leotards and feathery attire congratulated the Senator, it was clear all was not well. The chip which he had used in the slot machine was legally binding: the cash granted to Vegas had to be given without condition now that the fated chip was spent. There was still an intact clause regards paying the money back – but as if that’s ever going to happen.

Though mostly reticent on where the billions will go, one high profile executive – Carl Fleeca – was heard to state that ‘Project Cayman’ would go ahead, inbetween joking that the Senator involved had committed ‘financial suicide’ by helping the lemmings.

by Peter Demain

Arbitrage Partner Blog
Dirty Garnet

In association with:

The ARB Team
Arbitrage Magazine
Business News with BITE

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